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Meeting the Needs of Secondary Newcomer ELLs Through A Rigorous Curriculum

A guest post  Teresa Vignaroli, ELL Supervisor, Loudoun County Public Schools, Virginia; Julie Baye, ELL School Improvement and Accountability Specialist, Loudoun County Public Schools, Virginia; Giuliana Jahnsen Lewis, ELL Staff Development Trainer, Loudoun County Public Schools, Virginia Imagine Learning now publishes monthly guest posts in order to stimulate conversations about K12 education across the country. Opinions expressed herein are those of the individual author(s) and may not necessarily reflect the official opinion of Imagine Learning.   Like many other districts in the nation, Loudoun County Public Schools has experienced an influx of older English Language Learners (ELLs). Currently, nearly twenty-seven percent of our high school ELLs are proficiency level 1 students; forty-five percent are combined proficiency levels 1 and 2 students. These students bring a myriad of situations and challenges that include varying ethnic backgrounds, low socioeconomic status, differing levels of formal education, and special needs status. The varying language learner types and their unique needs indicate that there is no one-size-fits-all service delivery model nor one intervention that addresses, in its entirety, the best practices in service delivery models for high school ELLs. Research, however, indicates that ELLs must have access to standards-aligned curriculum that is rigorous and grade-level appropriate.
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Dr. Seuss Says: Read Across America!

Did you know that March 2nd is Dr. Seuss's birthday? It's true. And, what better way to celebrate than to 'Read Across America'? Chances are good that your library or school already has big plans. But if they don't, you can still celebrate. Here's how: 1. Dress like your favorite Dr. Seuss character Every birthday celebration is more fun when you get to dress up. Most kids know and love The Cat in the Hat, and it's not hard to create some red/white striped hats from paper and tape. Ditto for making some grey elephant ears for those who want to look like Horton. And everyone will giggle when they wear a bushy Lorax mustache!
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3 Martin Luther King Day Activities Kids Will Remember

Each January, elementary students return from the holidays with a fresh outlook and eager minds. Why not take advantage of these teachable attributes for Martin Luther King Day? To make your MLK Day activities truly engaging and memorable, consider implementing one or more of these teaching ideas into your lesson plans:
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Best books for summer reading

On the final day of summer break last year, my daughter devoured Caddie Woodlawn. Last week I wrote about the techniques I use to encourage my children to read. This week, I am sharing a list of our favorite books. Some of them are award-winners—but even better—all of them win the approval of my three unforgiving children. So pull out the hammock, spread out a blanket, or puff up a beanbag. These books are sure to draw you in! 0–2 years Goodnight Moon, Margaret Wise Brown The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle Drummer Hoff, Barbara Emberly and Ed Emberly The Snowy Day, Ezra Jack Keats Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See, Bill Martin Jr. Guess How Much I Love You, Sam McBratney The Little Engine That Could, Watty Piper Good Night, Gorilla, Peggy Rathmann Quick as a Cricket, Audrey Wood Piggies, Audrey and Don Wood
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Jump into summer reading

One afternoon in June, I found my girls just like this. They had abandoned their water party for front porch reading. While summer is a perfect time for children to relax and enjoy travel and other activities, it can also be a time for young minds to become idle. This period of learning loss has been referred to as the "summer slide." But the only summer slide we want Imagine Learning students to experience is having fun on a slip-n-slide. So let's talk about summer reading! I have fond memories of childhood summertime reading. My sisters and I would read on a blanket under our large backyard tree, sprawled out on wet towels poolside, or in our gently swinging hammock. Since I recently inherited most of my mom’s large children’s book collection, my children are now reading the same books as I did. And many of the pages are spotted with evidence of summers past—greasy sunscreen fingerprints, dog-eared pages, and the occasional water spot. So how do you create a summer of reading? The first step to encouraging a summer full of reading is to get kids to make a summer reading goal. Children can decide how many books, pages, or minutes they want to read. Involve children in this process so they begin with excitement. Most libraries offer a summer reading challenge and often include an incentive for completing the challenge. But if your local library doesn't offer a summer reading program, you can always create your own.
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